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CHRIS SQUIRE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Chris Squire biography
It's hard to make a bio about Chris because his 40+ years career with YES and his solo albums speak more of him than just a couple of paragraphs, but we will try to be as impersonal as we can.

Christopher Russell Edward Squire was born in a northwest London suburb called Kingsbury on March 4, 1948, started as a choirboy in Haberdasher Aske's public school. Made his early career as bass player in two small bands called THE SELFS and THE SYNS (with Andrew Jackman and Peter Banks) before he was introduced to Jon Anderson with whom he played in MABEL GREER'S TOYSHOP, where the seeds of YES started to grow.

On August 4, 1968 they gave the great step and offered the first concert under the name of YES with Bill Bruford, and the rest is well known history that doesn't need to be told.

After the release of "Relayer" Chris decided to start a solo career so he wrote "Fish Out of the Water" that was released in 1975 with the participation of Bill Bruford, Patrick Moraz, and his old friend Andrew Jackman.

Despite the good critics and acceptance of the fans, he gave priority to his life commitment with YES (He's the only YES member who has been present in every album) and short lived projects as XYZ with Alan White and Jimmy Page or CONSPIRACY with Billy Sherwood plus guest appearances with well-known artists and bands like RICK WAKEMAN , EDDIE HARRIS, GOV'T MULE and ESQUIRE among others.

With this busy life his solo career had to wait until 2007 when he released his second album called "Chris Squire's Swiss Choir" in which Steve Hackett was invited and lead to a new project called SQUACKETT.

Probably Chris will have to place his personal career in stand-by for some time due to his compromises, but I guess that in some moment he will give us another solo album that will be received with expectation by the Progressive Rock community.

Iván Melgar-Morey::::Perú

Chris Squire official website

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Fish Out of WaterFish Out of Water
Import
Imports 2015
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Chris Squire's Swiss ChoirChris Squire's Swiss Choir
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Atlantic
Vinyl$134.00 (used)
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CHRIS SQUIRE discography


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CHRIS SQUIRE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 336 ratings
Fish Out Of Water
1975
2.94 | 17 ratings
Chris Squire's Swiss Choir
2007

CHRIS SQUIRE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CHRIS SQUIRE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CHRIS SQUIRE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CHRIS SQUIRE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Lucky Seven
1975
2.52 | 8 ratings
Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White)
1981

CHRIS SQUIRE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White) by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
2.52 | 8 ratings

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Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White)
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Beware of the rocks"

Run With The Fox is a non-album single released by Chris Squire and Alan White in 1981. The title song that forms the a- side of the single features lead vocals and bass guitar by Squire and drums and keyboards by White. I have often seen the song being described as a Christmas song, but this is not something that is very obvious to me. It does have a folkier sound compared to the music of Yes and I can readily imagine this being performed by Jethro Tull (which would have been interesting to hear). The flute-like keyboard lines could have been well played by Ian Anderson. While it may not appeal to all Yes fans, I like this song.

The title song appeared on CD for the first time ten years later on the Yesyears box set, but the b-side Return Of The Fox has so far never been released on CD and perhaps never will. As the name indicates, Return Of The Fox is a variation on the main theme from the title song and is basically an instrumental version of the same. Most of the vocals have been replaced by keyboards. This one is not essential, but worth a listen for the curious.

A worthy single release

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 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 336 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Given the sad departure of the one and only CHRIS SQUIRE (4 March 1948 - 27 June 2015), bassist extraordinaire and key figure to the most dominant forces amongst early British progressive rock bands, i find it appropriate to remember this musical genius not by the band that he spearheaded into superstardom and mega-classic status, but to pay respect by reviewing his one and only progressive solo album outside of Yes. True, he did a Christmas album much later, so i guess he technically has two solo albums. FISH OUT OF WATER came out the year after Yes' "Relayer" album and tour. The band had just gotten off of a whirlwind of a five year run with one classic album and tour after another and they opted to take a well-deserved break. With this restless bunch of talent lurking about, it was only inevitable that each member would channel their attention to the solo projects that didn't quite fit into the Yes scheme of things.

Well, not really. It seems all the Yes solo projects weren't a terribly distant musical expression from the musical mothership and CHRIS SQUIRE was probably the one whose solo project reminds the most of Yes, especially the opening track and lead single "Hold Out Your Hand." The fact that this album sounds so much like Yes is testament to CHRIS' instrumental role in being the backbone to its very sound and was in fact the only member to be on every single studio album the band released (it's apparent who owned the Yes name given the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe projects). FISH OUT OF WATER is clearly a CHRIS SQUIRE project with his classic Rickenbacker bass sound and unmistakable progressive rock style that no one else could ever come to duplicating exactly. This album includes a huge cast of primo musicians helping out including Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel, Alan Parsons Project), Jimmy Hastings (Soft Machine, Caravan, Hatfield and the North etc), fellow Yes members Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on synths and organs and Andrew Pryce Jackman from SQUIRE's former band The Syn.

FISH OUT OF WATER consists of only five tracks with two being over the eleven minute mark. CHRIS himself handles vocals on this one, which for better or worse is one of the biggest flaws of this album, at least for me. His style is to imitate his close ally Jon Andersen in style, however he doesn't quite have enough strength in the old wind pipes to come close to pulling it off. Luckily a big chunk of the longer tracks are extended progressive rock workouts which sound very much like they could have been leftover tracks from the "Relayer" album at times. "Silently Falling" is probably my favorite track where delightful flute led rock builds into a progressive frenzy and ratchets down again through many movements. "Lucky Seven" is a bona fide jazz-rock fusion and probably sounds the most distant from any Yes album but then again there's that giveaway baseline that links the projects. "Safe (Canon Song)" is the other lengthy track and is also a favorite. It has a beautifully orchestrated progressive ending that wends and winds notes and rhythms and harmonies in super cool ways.

The album is heavily orchestrated at times even tends to overdo it. The musicianship is outstanding and there is lots of jamming where band members feed off of each other into musical frenzies that peak and trough. It's all very pleasant stuff to say the least. This album is only a recent purchase that just happened to find its way into my hands a mere few weeks before CHRIS SQUIRE's unfortunate passing from acute erythroid leukemia. I have not had a lot of time to really let this one sink in, but have listened enough to get a good sense of what's going on. I was wanting to like this one a lot more given all the lofty praise heaped upon it but i did find it somewhat disappointing overall. It is a very decent album for sure, but as mentioned CHRIS SQUIRE was no vocalist, at least not an extremely gifted one. That knocks a whole star off for me. The music is much better and i wish this had been an instrumental album or at least had several guest vocalists take over the lyrical duties. Despite it all, the music is quite good and this is definitely an enjoyable album if you can put the vocals aside. There also could have been a greater effort to distance the album's overall sound from a Yes album as well. Overall an album worth hearing from one of the greatest bass players and progressive rock giants ever to have lived. He has left a wealth of music for all time and will live on throughout generations to come. R.I.P. Chris, you will surely be missed by all.

3.5 stars but rounded up for sure. This is CHRIS SQUIRE we're talking about!

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 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 336 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by iguana

4 stars An unlikely, very intriguing piece of work.

In 1975 rock behemoths Yes, slightly worn out after years of recording, touring, haphazard stage prop behaviour and revolving-door politics took a year off to record a string of member solo albums; both to allow themselves some quality time away from each other and to clear out some accumulated but hitherto non- utilised material. As much as this period in the band's life is shrouded in mystery as logical was its occurrence. Yes had always been a conglomeration of highly individual talents and characters whose chemistry (for better or worse) constituted much of the band's attractiveness on stage and in the studio. The band's members, who in various bouts of megalomania had often employed their participation in Yes to showcase their craft to the best effect, were thus well-groomed for solo ventures ? and they went for it come hell or high water, often forging successful careers for themselves as individuals. Initial motivation must have been the erstwhile solo success of their wayward (and by then departed) keyboard wizz Rick Wakeman that led them to think along similar lines. Guitarist Steve Howe had enough interest in a wide array of instrumental stylings and guitar traditions to churn out albums worth of highy eclectic material while the band's figure head Jon Anderson probed even wider territories of creative loopiness. Yes' current keysman Patrick Moraz went further into his mode of jazzy cinemascope excellence while also contributing heavily to his bandmates' solo efforts; even their stalwart drummer Alan White, by many accounts the most modest and grounded Yes- member, dabbled with indigenous rhythms and calypso song structures on his own "Ramshackled". However, within this plethora of solo material bassist Chris Squire's singular album "Fish Out Of Water" is universally viewed as the best one. Why so?

While his colleagues very much built their solo work around their instrumental prowess while often lacking compositional finesse the lanky bass player went a distinctly different route. Both renowned and dreaded for his tedious meticulousness he set about crafting something which relies more on composition, arrangement and atmosphere while understanding that the last thing people would require is an album of bass guitar shredding from who had undoubtedly become one of Britain's finest four-stringers this side of John Entwhistle. Squire did have one element at the ready that would free him from a purely instrumental straightjacket: his voice. His erstwhile training as a chorister at St. Paul's Cathedral in London had equipped him with sizable knowledge of harmony, counterpoint and backing arrangements which he would employ to best effect within Yes' ranks, often providing much needed bedrock for Anderson's and Howe's off-kilter ideas while not neglecting his own style and melodic capabilities. Indeed, by retreating to his initial role in Yes and providing very strong lead vocals Squire succeeds in making this album not too overbearing. Indeed, composition and collaboration is the key here. While all the songs are self-composed (and, at times, succumb to an undoubted degree of pompousness on his account) there is an array of notable collaborators at work here to make them a success. Drummer Bill Bruford returns in one of his lesser-known collaborations and in reuniting the very early Yes rhythm section provides a welcome touch of class. Patrick Moraz excells throughout on some jazz/classical hybrid keyboard work and the albums roots in quintessentially English musical traditions is augmented by a chamber orchestra, Canterbury scene regular Jimmy Hastings on flute and King Crimson's own Mel Collins on saxophone. Squire's old mate from the Syn days Andrew Pryce Jackman returned on tasteful piano and orchestral arrangement. Another notable participant is Sir Barry Rose, Squire's old choir leader on pipe organ. It is not a rock album, it is something else that eschews any pigeonhole. And it is very good indeed.

Indeed, that pipe organ sets the scene as it introduces the opening track with Squire's customary Rickenbacker bass ascending above it and it leads into 43 minutes of very diverse, stately material. The somewhat jazzy, off-beat "Hold Out Your Hand" does not deviate much from its downbeat funkiness with organ and orchestra forming a gently oscillating horizon cloudscape with Squires angular bass lines and vocals taking the lead. Its sister track "You By My Side", on the other hand evokes the uplifting harmony pop of the psychedelic late 1960s with more than a hint of heyjudeisms and an anthemic Procol Harum-type pastoralness and the orchestra tastefully employed in its coda. A delightful bridge which exquisitely features flautist Mel Collins segues into "Silently Falling", somehow acting as a sum-up of Side 1 albeit being rockier and with a fast-paced jazz bit in the middle which evokes very early Yes on speed as Patrick Moraz and Bill Bruford chase each other across the finishing line. Chris's vocals may be a bit grating by the end as he hardly deviates from his rather constructed phrasing but they need to be viewed as another instrumental capacity just like what Jon Anderson has attempted in Yes to various degrees of success.

Side 2 starts inconspicously with the slightly nondescript "Lucky Seven" which flows along timidly and gives every instrument the opportunity to stretch out without dominating the proceedings. It is here that the album's crafty composedness may divide the listener into terminal boredom or appreciation of the varied musical undercurrents. It takes its time and it grows in stature just like its key proponent did within his band's ranks. "Fish Out Of Water" is thus a fair representation of Chris Squire as a musical person. He is firmly a second-rank acteur, but one who is capable to fill out his own creative space that he often self-restricts. As the album moves into its 15-minute long closing track "Safe" it elevates itself onto an even higher plateau. After a quiet, almost inaudible start it picks up momentum and ends in a frenzied orchestral waltz that seems to spin around its own axis with several instrumental leads ? and more of Squire's lethal bass ? coiling around it; almost hurling the listener to an impending point of impact. That point materialises in a huge band/orchestra crescendo which leads into a fading drone that consists of some lone, mournful bass notes disappearing into the post-listening void like the distant grumble of a departing vintage airliner.

This was also the last that would ever be heard of Squire as a true solo artist. When Yes resumed operations a year later he contributed heavily to every ensuing album (by "Drama" and "90125" he had become the de facto leader of the band) and, thus, transferred all of his own material into band sessions. Squire did remain open for collaborations outside of Yes such as Esquire, Conspiracy with later band alumnus Billy Sherwood, an unexpected The Syn reunion (reviewed elswhere here) and his most recent collaboration with Steve Hackett, the snappily named Squackett which, however, suffered much from the diluting capacities of artistic joint ventures. Some people are probably not cut for solo careers...

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 Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White) by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
2.52 | 8 ratings

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Run With The Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White)
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I didn`t expect to find this single in the Prog Archives database, but I saw it today in the updates section of this website. So, I`m going to write a review about it. This single was released in late 1981 before Christmas, almost at the same time that the "Classic Yes" compilation album from Yes was released. By April 1981, Yes had split for the first time after the "Drama" album and tour of 1980, and after this Chris Squire and Alan White spent some time trying to form a band with Jimmy Page from the also then recently defunct LED ZEPPELIN. Despite they rehearsed and recorded some Demos for some months, the projected band called "XYZ" finally was found to be uncompatible in musical styles, and they split. So, some months later it seems that Squire and White had the idea to record this single with the help from Peter Sinfield who wrote the lyrics (while Squire and White maybe only wrote the music), and from the late Andrew Pryce-Jackman who did the orchestral and choral arrangements (and maybe played some keyboards too) for this Christmas song, which is good, with some choral arrangements which sound like inspired by a Church Choir. It also has some piano playing (maybe done by White), plus drums, percussion, bass guitar, and lead and backing vocals (with all vocals maybe only done by Squire). It also has a brief melody played with a recorder (soprano flute). I don`t know if this song was played in the radio in the U.K. then (and it seems that it wasn`t released in the U.S. then), but I listened to this song for the first time in 1991-92 when it was released in the "Yesyears" Box Set from Yes, and now it seems that it is the only release on which this single could be found on CD until this Box Set was discountinued some years ago. I don`t know why Squire and White wanted to record and to release a single like this. Maybe they only did it for fun. But I think that now it is mostly interesting for collectors only. Apparently the B-side was another version of the same song without vocals, but I never have listened to it.

Update (22-May-2015): "Return of the Fox", the "B" side of this single, is an instrumental version of "Run with the Fox", but played with keyboards (by Dave Lawson, former keyboard player with GREENSLADE) and with brief vocals by Nikki Squire (Chris Squire`s then wife), and also without the orchestral and choral arrangements.

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 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 336 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water, recorded in the Yes downtime between Relayer and Going For the One, takes Squire's incredible and highly individual bass skills and sets them against fine compositions and tasteful orchestral arrangements. With new pal Patrick Moraz and old buddy Bill Briuford lending a hand, Squire succeeds in creating perhaps the most Yes-like of the various solo albums band members knocked out in the break - Silently Falling is, in particular, an absolute classic, the sort of thing which at once measures up to anything Yes did and possesses a very Yes-like magic but at the same time, thanks to the different personnel and instrumentation and approach, doesn't sound like a mere attempt at producing "Yes by other means". A neglected classic.

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 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 336 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

5 stars A solo album, played by a great band

An excellent musician, surrounded by great companions wisely. If we add the almost unbeatable composition issues, we have a unique album. The excellence of those who accompany Squire, is evident in the masterful performance of each section. There is a clear relationship with fellow Yes, added to the orchestral arrangements, the flute and sax parts here and there, including the trumpeter specializing in Baroque music, John Wilbraham.

I do not consider necessary to review every song. Obviously, the largest take the top laurels. The low figure in all the numbers on the disc, with energy and virtuosity but without being a one-man protagonist. The overall construction of the songs is the main thing.

Some also are remarkable vocals and lyrics. That is evidenced by Silently Falling and Safe (Canon Song).

After this statement, it is clear that there is no waste in this offering, at least for me.

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 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 336 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Of the solo YES members albums that did not sounded like Yes without the others (How will it be if Yes was me? project; Howe´s & Anderson´s) Chris Squire´s my favorite pick (Moraz one is good; but a bit too "Latin" for my likes, White´s is more like he had to come up with something; not to be left behind). "Fish Out of Water": This solo effort stands out; mainly because it does not sound like Yes; not even the early one. Closer to the crossover category it also has some slight brushes of modern Jazz & Prog-Pop ( like the one they ended up favoriting in their later works; Ugh!). Here more than anything else; are spared some hints of Chris Squire´s way back sources. (He already had formed a 2 pre-Yes bands with the now departed Peter Banks; future Yes member in the pre-Howe era) But this record neither sounds like them. So; this album seems more like the music he will have been performing if it was all up to him. And that is exactly the idea of solo projects for me. (in my opinion of course) The exact combination between non-corny Pop, Folk, Rock and Jazz. in the hands´s of Yes´s superb bass player/co-composer/co-vocalist; sounds like a good choice to experience. I bought this one first in vinyl (1975), then the cd, and then the remastered version, It still fits in my collection,... What else can I say. 4 stars

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 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 336 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by wehpanzer

5 stars One of the few solo albums by a Yes group member that I think is absolutely essential for a prog collection. When I heard Squire's realatively Spartan approach to the music on this album (Squire on bass and vocals, Bruford on drums, Moraz on keyboards - although Squire does throw on some guitar once in a while) and the power behind his bass...WOW! I as absolutely blown away. Listening to the album I realized at the time that it was epic. This is the one member who absolutely got it, and deserved to have success (I'm not saying the others aren't good -Wakeman's Six Wives is a prog classic, Anderson's Olias is very, very good, Howe's Beginnings is good, White's Ramshackled is...interesting). However, this was all that we would hear from Chris for a few decades. Hold Out Your Hand is a song that should have been a huge hit - prog or not. Oh well, I listen to this at least once every couple of months and have done so since it came out. Get it, you'll enjoy it. I do.

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 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 336 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Argonaught

5 stars It might sound strange, but I am kind of glad that back in 1974 Yes went on de facto 3-year hiatus and KC disbanded.

Otherwise the skeleton crew of the Chris Squire's band, consisting of Bruford, Collins, Moraz and Squire, might have never come together the way they did to record Fish Out of Water (the gentlemen are listed alphabetically, not in order of importance).

Reading previous reviews, I came to realize that Fish isn't everybody's cup of tea, and I can myself see one noticeable "deficiency" about it: the album is not chasing new horizons, or breaking creative molds, or blazing trails. But it's still a 5-star purebred symph ? IMO, not inferior musically to CTTE and a few other flagship albums of the time.

If we set aside the lack of experimentation and innovation and evaluate Fish from a musical hedonist's point of view, here is what we are likely to see (at least I do):

LUSH, VOLUPTIOS SOUND THROUGOUT. There isn't such thing as "too much bass guitar" in general, and in Fish we get plenty of it in its best pedigree ? leading and driving the music-weaving process. Thanks be to Heavens for this.

Messieurs Moraz, Bruford and Collins also do classy job on this album, along with the uncredited, but very competent musicians on woodwind and brass instruments.

SENSE OF MEASURE, BALANCE AND PROPORTION. Fish does showcase sophisticated melody lines and arrangements, but at the same time it's not excessively "florid" (thanks be to Heavens again). It's surprisingly easy to listen to, probably because the sound patterns are so masterfully integrated into an ultra-smooth and wholesome musical monument.

STABLE QUALITY THROUGHOUT. Fish doesn't have a single weak segment or a skip-worthy track. I enjoy it when it's played whole in one sitting, or only Side A or B, or even a 8-10 minute long fragment. Frankly, I don't know many other albums that have such high music to fillers ratio.

All in all, in my book it's a masterpiece of symphonic rock ? not experimental, but great nonetheless.

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 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 336 ratings

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Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by mohaveman

3 stars From 1975, FISH OUT OF WATER by Chris Squire bassist of Yes. Is this a "lost" Yes album? Sorta. It does has a lot of the same vibe and musical tendencies, as well as Squire's voice being high in tone like Jon Anderson's. The opening duet, "Hold Out Your Hand", and "You By My Side" are the strongest tracks in my opinion, but the others are not bad, just less interesting. Unfortunately "Safe" at 14 minutes is just too long and does not hold my interest for it's long running time. Still, along with OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW, this may be one of the best solo Yes albums. I do not get into Wakeman so won't put him on the list.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Ivan_Melgar_M for the last updates

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